Most of us were shocked by Donald Trump’s rise to the White House in 2016. Now, with the 2020 election around the corner, the question is: Can he do it again?
Trump has been a president, unlike any other, and undoubtedly the most controversial. To some, he’s “The Chosen One,” a hero, or a tough president and actually gets things done. To others, he’s Hitler, a disaster, or an embarrassment. And then there’s the group of Americans who fall somewhere in the middle: He’s crazy, and certainly not a role model, but he’s accomplished some good things over the past four years.
Obviously Democrats are determined to beat Trump in 2020; but in this case, unlike past challengers of a Republican president, Democrats aren’t only arguing that the president is taking the country in the wrong direction. No, they’re going after him as being unfit to remain in office, and undoubtedly there’s an argument there.
Will they succeed, though?
The odds are against it at this point. There are several reasons. For one, Democrats’ best chance at beating Trump is to nominate a candidate who comes off as less wacky, which, let’s face it, shouldn’t be that hard. Joe Biden is the obvious choice then. The problem is, the left doesn’t want Biden. They want someone more radical, because the left is radical. By today’s standards, Biden is a moderate, and that’s just not where the democratic party is at. The media clearly favors Elizabeth Warren (who has been rising in the polls), and they’ve even attacked Biden repeatedly, like releasing headlines about him lying about his position on the Iraq War. That’s hardball.
Biden is also known for putting his foot in his mouth, and he doesn’t tend to perform well on stage. He’s unlikely to say anything more outrageous than Trump, but the reality is Americans have held Donald Trump to an entirely different standard. If Biden is the nominee, he obviously has a good chance against Trump, but with where things stand now, Trump still seems to have the advantage in a general election, as I’ll explain later.
So if it’s not Biden, would any of the other candidates beat Trump? That doesn’t look hopeful, mainly because the other top candidates are too radical for the average American voter. For example, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both want medicaid for all. Some candidates are essentially talking about open borders, and Beto O’Rourke wants to confiscate assault weapons. If Democrats want to win, they should be focused on simply being more rational than Trump (again not tricky), but they can’t help but push forward their progressive policies, which many American moderates will undoubtedly view as more dangerous and risky than 4 more years of Trump.
So what gives Trump the edge, especially against Biden, who has more of the “normal” going for him? For one, Trump has accomplished some good things in his presidency, or at least good in the eyes of conservatives. He’s cut taxes, taken action against China on trade, negotiated with North Korea, and nominated two conservative supreme court picks. The economy has grown and stayed strong under his presidency. The incumbent always has a certain edge, but Mr. Trump’s accomplishments add an extra boost.
The Ukraine Scandal
Over the last couple of weeks, the news has been dominated by Trump’s recent scandal regarding his phone call with the Ukrainian president. That certainly looks bad for Trump, and impeachment looks likely. However, the odds of a subsequent conviction by the Senate are slim, due to the Republicans having the majority and a two-thirds vote being required. Polls have been showing that the majority of Americans support his impeachment, which certainly casts doubt on his reelection in 2020. However, we can’t forget that this does not reflect the leanings of voters in a general election against a Democratic opponent. Again, American voters have held Trump to a different standard. His supporters still seem enthused with his accomplishments and care less about his conduct.
Americans want a president who gets things done. Donald Trump has given them that, or at least the appearance of it. The Ukraine scandal will likely blow over like the Mueller investigation, albeit with more damage done. It looks hopeful that Trump can survive it though, especially since the Ukraine controversy reflects poorly on Joe Biden, the likely Democratic nominee. If Biden attacks Trump in Ukraine, the president can fire right back.
The Bottom Line
The democrats just aren’t playing smart enough, and Trump still has broad support and a list of accomplishments to fall back on. Time will tell. 2020 is going to be an exciting year.